The Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library is a place of discovery. All are welcome to visit and explore our unique holdings, whether as a researcher or an observer. The breadth and depth of our collections are vast, and it is nearly impossible to investigate every nook and cranny. We invite you this year, through our blog, to tour some of those places you didn’t know existed, and get acquainted with collections you might not have previously explored. Check back in with us weekly over the course of 2013 as we offer you a delightful look into some of the favorite, but perhaps lesser-known, corners of our collections. These pieces are visually interesting, come attached with fascinating stories, and are often 3D objects you might not have realized are part of what makes up The Extraordinary World of MARBL.
The Reed Family was an African American family who lived in southeast Texas from Reconstruction to the oil boom. The Reeds owned over 50 acres of land which was often referred to as the Berry Beasley Place. Included in the family papers are handwritten herbal remedies for common ailments such as sore throat, sore mouth, rheumatism, erectile dysfunction, piles, diarrhea, dropsy, and nausea. Other detailed prescriptions offered help to those with “mind and body trouble” or “women in the family way.” Due to the sensitive nature of these remedies and concoctions, the formulas were rarely written down.